According to a major report on the economic impact of cultural events, Edinburgh’s year-round festivals generate around £313 million for the Scottish economy each year.
This figure is based on the total for 2015 and represents a 24% rise over figures recorded five years previously. The report noted that the main beneficiaries of the Edinburgh festivals were in the tourism, hospitality and leisure sectors. In total, the festivals pulled in around 4.5 million people, which is the equivalent of that attracted by the Fifa World Cup. What’s more, the festivals were shown by the report to support more than 6,000 jobs in Scotland.
The research was carried out by BOP Consulting and sought to analyse the economic impact that Edinburgh’s 12 main festivals were having on the local and national economies. Locally, the festivals were shown to generate around £279.6 million for Edinburgh, while generating some £312.6 million for the larger Scottish economy. In terms of jobs, the festivals supported 6,021 Scottish workers in 2015, which was a significant rise from the 4,700 recorded five year before.
The BOP Consulting study also discovered some other welcome impacts on the local population. For example, 92% of local residents said they had gotten the chance to see something they otherwise would not because the festivals were in town. In fact, 95% of locals were satisfied with the festivals, while 89% said it had increased the sense of pride they had for Edinburgh.
Festivals Edinburgh director Julia Amour said of the findings:
'This report tells us that the festivals are unparalleled in terms of their quality, in terms of their scale of impact and also in terms of the level of benefits they are returning to local people and businesses.
We've passed the 4.5 million mark for attendances, which reminds us what an extraordinary world-scale event we have in the capital with our festivals.
We knew that the ticket sales had gone up by about 20% (in the five-year period), so we were quietly confident that we would be on a growth curve, but to find that the benefit for Scotland as a whole is even stronger than our ticket sales would suggest this is a really great result.'
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